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Wellbeing economy toolkit: supporting place based economic strategy and policy development

This practical guide sets out a stage-by-stage diagnostic process designed to aid decision making and prioritisation of economic interventions to facilitate the transition to local and regional wellbeing economies.


Stage 4: Prioritisation

Prioritising areas for action is critical to focusing efforts, improving outcomes and delivering value for money. To assess the impact that targeted interventions could have on wellbeing outcomes and delivering transformational change in the local area, a systematic approach should be adopted. Opportunities for action can be identified through a prioritisation process that reflects the evidence base, including stakeholder views to rank the drivers of wellbeing outcomes as identified in stages two and three.

Where drivers have been identified as impacting on more than one outcome, this would indicate that it is having a broader impact on overall wellbeing outcomes in the local area. A scoring system can be used to reflect the strength of impact that interventions targeted at these drivers could have across wellbeing outcomes, the strength of the evidence supporting this judgement, and the deliverability of such interventions. The process should take into account an assessment of the synergies, trade-offs and impact such interventions could have on key excluded groups.

Clackmannanshire Stage 4 Case Study

Clackmannanshire Council worked with the Scottish Government to carry out an assessment of the impact of each driver on wellbeing outcomes and deliverability of interventions to address the driver. This process involved considering the views of policy makers, local communities and the private sector, as well as estimates of the funding requirements of interventions and the time it would take for the benefits to get realised. Potential interventions were also scored according to their estimated impact on the wellbeing economy principles of prosperity, equality, environmental sustainability and resilience.

This process was underpinned by an objective scoring system with each driver scored according to its impact and deliverability. Opportunities for intervention that were considered to be both the most feasible to deliver and to have the biggest impact on wellbeing (of people and planet) outcomes for Clackmannanshire were quality of employment, transport and local connectivity, entry level skills, earnings, mental and physical health, and influence of local anchor organisations. As part of this process, digital skills and lack of industrial space were also identified as key drivers of wellbeing outcomes that Clackmannanshire were keen to investigate further.

Stage 4 Actions

1. Employ an evidence-based methodology for ranking drivers that takes account of estimated impact across a range of wellbeing (of people and planet) outcomes. A multi-criteria analysis underpinned by objective scoring criteria was employed for the Clackmannanshire pilot. Considerations could include:

  • Breadth of impact: e.g., number of outcomes each driver impacts; effect of driver and intervention opportunity on key elements of a wellbeing economy (e.g., equality, environmental sustainability, resilience, prosperity).
  • Strength of driver-outcome connections.
  • Future generations: estimated impact of driver and intervention opportunity on long-term resilience of people, communities, the economy and environment. Give particular focus to prevention and preventative spend opportunities to impact wellbeing outcomes in the longer term.
  • Strength of evidence: quality and quantity of evidence (considering both quantitative and qualitative data)
  • Deliverability: time frame to deliver intervention, time frame for desired impact to be felt, funding/resource requirements, and available levers to deliver interventions.

2. Give particular focus to prevention and preventative spend opportunities to impact wellbeing outcomes in the longer term and reduce the effect of ‘failure demand’, whereby drivers lead to negative outcomes requiring expenditure to address those impacts. For more information on the concept of failure demand, see the WEAll and Christie Commission reports referenced in Annex E.

3. Consider the views and preferences of key stakeholders, including policy makers and experts, local communities, those directly impacted and the wider public, private and third sectors when carrying out this scoring process. Workshops bringing together diverse groups can allow discussion and reflection on the methodology and results.

4. Rank the results based on the scoring system to identify priority areas for intervention.

5. Where the levers for intervention fall partly or fully out with the powers of the local or regional authority or local stakeholders, identify where the powers/levers lie and capture these to communicate the feedback for sharing with relevant bodies (e.g. Scottish or UK Government, national agencies, industry etc.).

6. Using the results of this exercise, agree a shortlist of areas for focusing interventions in the short, medium and long term.

Contact

Email: NSET@gov.scot

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